Small businesses can buy open source IP PBX Asterisk software as an addon to IBM’s Smart Cube office in a box package.

Digium, which sells a commercial version of Asterisk, customised it to integrate with Smart Cube’s software, making the phone system manageable via Smart Cube’s management interface.

Customers buy the Asterisk application from IBM’s Smart Market, and rely on IBM for support. Digium support staff are on call to IBM for tier 2 support, but customers only have to deal with IBM. 

The PBX software is sold in two sizes, for 20 concurrent calls and for 40 concurrent calls.

Smart Cube is sold as a hardware platform with a base set of applications on it, and a second set of applications available for customers to buy via Smart Market to address their specific business needs.

The Asterisk software can be configured and managed via IBM’s Smart Desk management dashboard, which gives a common look to management of all the Smart Market applications.

The Digium-Asterisk alliance was announced at the 10th anniversary of AstriCon, the annual conference for Asterisk customers, developers and business partners. Attendance was up 10% over last year, and participation in the trade show part of the conference was up 50%, says Danny Windham, CEO of Digium.

Also at the show, Digium previewed Asterisk Marketplace, a site where customers can buy applications to expand the use of Asterisk PBXs. It also announced Asterisk Forge, a site where developers can start, run and maintain Asterisk software projects.